ASUS Maximus VII Hero Review
Networking is still, to some people, a bit of a dark art. So let's bring in a comparison that we're all more familiar with and hopefully that will assist you in understanding what the Intel I217-V LAN does to keep your latency at rock bottom. When advertising SSDs the manufacturers nearly always quote a large data block sequential test as that has the highest result and so makes for the most attractive eye-grabbing number. We know from our testing though that the real difference between a quick one and a blisteringly fast one is the handling of small data block sizes, because those are the ones that form the majority of read/write actions. Similarly the majority of your gaming traffic comes from small packets that update the game with your position or actions or what have you, rather than enormous data chunks that you might have to get from a custom skin someone is running.
Intel have focussed their attention on handling these small data packets as well as possible to give double the performance of certain other gaming focused networking solutions. A fun game you can play at home is try and work out what the mysterious KxxxxR E22xx chip ASUS are being so coy about might be. No it didn't take us more than a nano second either.
Finally an upgraded GameFirst III further fine-tunes the handling of these gaming data packets at the software end to help gain that bit of an edge. As we all know, on such fine margins can games be won and lost.
The newly updated SupremeFX 2014 promises to bring some of the best onboard sound you could hope to hear. Indeed it offers so much performance and tweakability that it's in danger of putting ASUS' own Xonar range out of business. Now that's dedication to providing the best solution for your userbase. The one feature that most made us raise our eyebrows in surprise is the Sonic Radar II which promises to deliver an onscreen representation of an audio source. This feature and its potential in first-person shooters could be truly game changing. If it was any more of an advantage it would be an aimbot.
The most useful element of this is one that ASUS themselves haven't explored in their documentation, and that's the ability to put people with impaired hearing on a level playing field. If it does no more than that it will be a roaring success and rightfully so. Too few manufacturers consider such needs, and even if it's a side-effect of providing the best gaming experience we still applaud it.